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Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Teachers and Lecturers
Police pick up trade unionist Majongwe
in Zimbabwe Coalition
February 06, 2007
In yet another
sign of great disregard for the people’s right to freedom of expression,
the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) picked up Mr. Raymond Majongwe,
Teacher’s Union Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general, yesterday
at 5am. The police were leveling flimsy accusations on why the union
was proceeding with the industrial action, which is aimed at forcing
the state to accord teachers decent salaries and leaving conditions.
Majongwe remained adamant that the strike will go ahead till the
government gives in to their demands.
It is clear
that the government is aimed at thwarting all efforts by those in
the civil service to seek better standards of living by all means
necessary and this means detaining their leaders and spreading malicious
rumors. It is deplorable that the government is fast resorting to
colonial strategies of intimidating democratic forces through extra-legal
mechanisms. Responding to some reports that the strike was a political
action, Majongwe highlighted that such statements are only meant
to tarnish the image of the teachers union and discourage some members
from participating in the industrial action. He went on to indicate
that " the strike is a struggle to lift the standard of life
from a biological level to which it has sunken, to social and economic
levels…". Majongwe went on to salute teachers who took part
in the three-day go-slow and encouraged more teachers to participate
in the staffroom sit-ins saying that the strike is in their interest.
The PTUZ has
gone further to state the conditions that they want met by the government
and Ministry of Education. Chief among them being a minimum basic
salary of $540 000 for the first quarter of 2007 and that the Public
service Commission exempt teachers’ children from paying school
fees as a benefit similar to that offered to War Veterans.
estimated 120 students were arrested in the City of Bulawayo as
they were demonstrating against the exorbitant fee structures which
are being charged by state institutions nation wide. This comes
barely two days after the Zimbabwe
National Students Union (ZINASU) gave the government an ultimatum
of two weeks ending on 13 February 2006 to address their plight
or else they embark on national boycotts and protests.
We advise the
regime to start taking the demands of labour, students, civil society
and the generality of the populace lest the nation face disintegration.
Virtually all civil servants are embarking on industrial action
which was ignited by the junior Doctors and spread like a veld fire
as nurses, teachers, support staff and administrative works in most
of the state institutions. The government must address their plight,
they deserve fair remuneration.
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in Zimbabwe Coalition fact
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